By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday, April 19, 2017, while the House Judiciary Committee was hearing the Special Counsel’s report on Governor Robert Bentley’s (R) alleged misconduct, the Governor reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and agreed to step down from the office of Governor. Leaders from across the State commented in favor of the decision.
US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) said in a statement, “Governor Bentley’s decision to resign was the right thing to do. The people of Alabama deserve leaders who are focused on the serious issues facing our state, and I look forward to better days ahead.”
Alabama Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Worley said in a statement, “Three strikes and you’re out” applies to baseball and to corrupt Republican politics in Alabama, with today’s resignation of Gov. Robert Bentley. The Republican heads of all three branches of our state government have either been convicted, ousted, or resigned within a year. First, Rep. Mike Hubbard, Legislative Branch leader and Speaker of the House was convicted on multiple counts and removed from office; next, the head of the Judicial Branch, Chief Justice Roy Moore, was removed from office a second time for failing to uphold the US Constitution, and the third strike today saw the Governor, head of the Executive Branch, agree to a deal that forced him to resign and never hold office again.”
The Alabama for Trump Campaign Co-Chair former State Representative Perry O. Hooper Jr. said in his own statement, “First, I would like to commend my friend Governor Robert Bentley for doing what he believes is truly in the best for interest for Alabama and resigning as Governor. I hope all Alabamians join Judy and myself in praying for Dr. Bentley in this personally trying time. It is time for all Alabamians Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike, to rally around Governor Kay Ivey as she takes over as Governor of our great state. I personally pledge to do everything in my power to support her and her administration.”
Former House Minority Leader Craig Ford (D from Gadsden) said in a statement, “It is a sad state of affairs that the leadership of all three branches of our state government has – in only one year’s time – either been removed from office, or resigned because they were going to be removed from office for corruption. I believe Gov. Bentley’s resignation was in the best interests of the state, and I look forward to working with Gov. Ivey as we try to move the state forward. Now more than ever we need a strong, two-party system so we can break this chain of absolute power becoming absolute corruption. I hope the people of Alabama will take this to heart and vote for the person rather than voting for the party.”
State Representative Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City) said on social media, “I would like to point out that this huge embarrassment for our State could have been over months ago had our then Attorney General (Big Luther) not misled the Judiciary Committee.”
State Representative Tim Wadsworth (R-Arley) said on social media, “State of Alabama my perspective. Dark clouds have hung over Alabama for a while. These dark clouds started with the Hubbard scandal and hopefully these dark clouds have ended with the resignation of Governor Robert Bentley. The citizens of Alabama deserved better. President Trump’s campaign has a theme that resonates with the people of Alabama and America. “Drain the Swamp”. That theme has been applied to Alabama today. I take no pleasure seeing a person who once stood proud fall. However, when the lines are crossed, employees are intimidated, families are hurt, power is abused and your tax dollars are wasted, it’s well past time to solve the problem. We now need to move forward with creating jobs, building bridges, helping citizens and build a better Alabama. Let’s move past this and continue with Trump’s theme. We must now move forward. First step Alabama citizens elected Jeff Sessions to be our Senator. Now it’s time for Governor Kay Ivey to follow the Constitution and let the citizens of Alabama decide who should replace Jeff Sessions in an forthwith called Special Election.”
State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) told The Alabama Political Reporter that he will be in court on Wednesday in his lawsuit against the Bentley administration over the date of the special election. Zeigler said however that Governor Ivey could make this a mute point by ordering the Special Election this year instead of waiting until 2018.
House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) said in a statement, “The Governor’s resignation is long overdue. If it had not been for the few brave citizens who put our State first and doing the right thing above everything else, this saga might still be continuing. We owe them a debt of gratitude. Unfortunately, the astounding revelations of the past few days are just part of a pattern of abuses by those at the highest levels of power in our State. First, it was the former Speaker, then the former Chief Justice of our Supreme Court and now the former Governor — all of whom have fallen short of the standards of service in the public interest and adherence to the law. From the agreement reached today, it’s clear that there is still much work to be done to stop this cycle of cronyism and abuse of power that has a stranglehold on our State government.”
The Alabama Political Reporter asked Zeigler if he thought we would get here when he filed that ethics complaint a year ago that set all of this in motion. Zeigler said yes but that it took a lot longer than he thought it would.